In pursuit of truth: A critical examination of meta-analyses of cognitive behavior therapy

  title={In pursuit of truth: A critical examination of meta-analyses of cognitive behavior therapy},
  author={Bruce E. Wampold and Christoph Fl{\"u}ckiger and A C Del Re and Noah E Yulish and Nickolas D. Frost and Brian T. Pace and Simon B. Goldberg and Scott D. Miller and Timothy P. Baardseth and Kevin M. Laska and Mark Hilsenroth},
  journal={Psychotherapy Research},
  pages={14 - 32}
Abstract Objective: Three recent meta-analyses have made the claim, albeit with some caveats, that cognitive-behavioral treatments (CBT) are superior to other psychotherapies, in general or for specific disorders (e.g., social phobia). Method: The purpose of the present article was to examine four issues in meta-analysis that mitigate claims of CBT superiority: (a) effect size, power, and statistical significance, (b) focusing on disorder-specific symptom measures and ignoring other important… 

In the pursuit of truth, we should not prioritize correlational over causal evidence

  • I. CristeaP. Cuijpers
  • Psychology
    Psychotherapy research : journal of the Society for Psychotherapy Research
  • 2017
A compelling critique of three recent meta-analyses maintaining superior effects of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) over other psychotherapies, for psychopathology in general and for social phobia is offered.

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The Dodo Bird Verdict (DBV)—the proposition that all psychotherapies are equally effective—remains bitterly contested by researchers, who have mainly used meta-analyses as the primary tool to

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The relative focus on patients’ problems predicted the relative effectiveness of the treatments, with the expectations created by explanation appearing more predictive than specific therapeutic actions focused on patients' problems, although conclusions about relative importance were difficult to determine given collinearity of predictors.

Moderators in psychotherapy meta-analysis

An overview of moderators that are highly relevant to test the generalizability of effects across psychotherapy trials is provided, and meta-analysts are encouraged to consider moderators which have previously shown utility in explaining heterogeneous results in the psychotherapy literature.

Is psychotherapy effective? A re-analysis of treatments for depression

The re-analysis of data from Cuijpers et al.'s (2018) meta-analysis reveals that psychotherapy for adult patients diagnosed with depression is effective, providing evidence that psych therapy is not as effective as generally accepted.

A Meta-Analysis of Social Skills Training and Related Interventions for Psychosis

A comprehensive meta-analytic review of the evidence for SST across relevant outcome measures, control comparisons, and follow-up assessments shows a magnitude of effect for negative symptoms similar to those commonly reported for cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for positive symptoms, although unlike CBT, SST is not routinely recommended in treatment guidelines for psychological intervention.

Long-term efficacy of psychotherapy in major depression: protocol of a network meta-analysis

The purpose of this review is to systematize and integrate evidence of long-term maintenance of the results of different psychotherapeutic treatments for major depression, administered individually and face-to-face in RCTs.



Cognitive-behavioral therapy versus other therapies: redux.

A Meta-Analysis of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy for Adult Depression, Alone and in Comparison with other Treatments

There is no doubt that CBT is an effective treatment for adult depression, although the effects may have been overestimated until now.

Is cognitive-behavioral therapy more effective than other therapies? A meta-analytic review.

  • D. Tolin
  • Psychology
    Clinical psychology review
  • 2010

Psychotherapy for depression in adults: a meta-analysis of comparative outcome studies.

It is suggested that there are no large differences in efficacy between the major psychotherapies for mild to moderate depression.

Determining what works in the treatment of PTSD.

Psychotherapist effects in meta-analyses: How accurate are treatment effects?

Reexamining meta-analyses that found statistically significant differences between treatments for a variety of disorders by correcting the treatment effects according to the variability in outcomes known to be associated with psychotherapists demonstrated that after adjusting the results based on most small estimates of therapist effects, ∼80% of the reported treatment effects would still be statistically significant.

Trials and Tribulations in the Meta-Analysis of Treatment Differences: Comment on Wampold et al. (1997)

A fair test of the Dodo bird conjecture that different psychotherapies are equally effective would entail separate comparisons of every pair of therapies. A meta-analysis of overall effect size for

The empirical status of empirically supported psychotherapies: assumptions, findings, and reporting in controlled clinical trials.

A critical review of the assumptions and findings of studies used to establish psychotherapies as empirically supported suggests a shift from validating treatment packages to testing intervention strategies and theories of change that clinicians can integrate into empirically informed therapies.